Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On perfect storms

Among loads of other interesting information in her latest nomination roundup, Alice at Pundits' Guide points out why Sherbrooke indeed makes loads of sense as one of the NDP's Quebec targets:
Sherbrooke, QC - NDP Leader Jack Layton will be in Austin, Qué. next Wednesday to attend a fundraiser for his star candidate in this riding, TV host Yves Mondoux, reports the Sherbrooke Tribune. Mondoux was substituted in as NDP candidate very late in the 2008 campaign, when Bishops University professor Cheryl Gosselin had had to step down, and yet he still achieved 13% of the vote with few resources, said NDP Québec Lieutenant Tom Mulcair, who has promised the riding a much higher level of support this time around, and indeed it was named one of the Québec target seats by newly-appointed NDP campaign chair Brad Lavigne last week. 2008 Conservative candidate André Bachand has accepted a government appointment with UNESCO, while 2008 Liberal candidate Nathalie Goguen has elected to run municipally this fall instead, and no replacement has been identified as yet. Mondoux does not underestimate his remaining opponent, five-term Bloc Québécois M.P. Serge Cardin, but notes that "M. Cardin ne sera pas éternel". "Il faut préparer le changement," he says. No word on when the NDP nomination meeting is expected to be held, and Cardin has not been renominated for the Bloc in this riding as yet either.
Needless to say, there's probably no better opening for the NDP to make the jump from a competitive fourth to a serious contender than to combine a high-profile candidate of its own with a sudden dropoff in interest from the Libs and the Cons.

Which isn't to say that the other parties are wrong if they've concluded that their effort is better placed elsewhere: after all, fully-funded campaigns from the Libs in 2004 and the Cons in 2006 fell roughly 14,000 and 16,500 votes short of Cardin's total respectively. But Mondoux' early start and high profile should establish him as the main challenger to Cardin - and if the Bloc decides to move its resources elsewhere as well based on a perception that Cardin is in less dire straits than candidates facing challenges from the Libs or Cons, then it's not out of the question that Mondoux could take advantage of that opening to push Sherbrooke into NDP hands.

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